About Kathy Ellis

Personal Story

Kathy is a sixth-generation Jefferson County, Missouri resident on her mother’s side and her father’s family lines go back to the Revolutionary War. Her great-great grandfather Ellis fought against his brother in the Battle of Lookout Mountain during the Civil War.

She attended the R-1 School District (Northwest), and during her senior year, received the Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen award before attending college and graduate school. After college, she lived in St. Louis County for several years before returning to Jefferson County to reside in Festus. Kathy’s father was the CFO of the Northwest School District and her mother, was a third- grade teacher. Her mother is 85 and still lives in House Springs.

Kathy’s brother was a police officer as well as a bandleader of a “big band” in the St. Louis area before his sudden death at the age of 39.  Kathy and her family stepped in to provide the support that his children and wife needed during that difficult time.  She has continued to support them to this day:  Kathy’s niece is a third year medical student at Mizzou and her nephew is a senior at Mizzou.
Kathy has been a musician all her life and plays several instruments including the violin which she started playing four years ago.

Kathy has been married to Ann, a high school science teacher, for three years. Kathy and Ann enjoy hiking wherever they travel, working in their gardens, and volunteering for things they believe in.

Professional Training and Experience

Kathy is a psychotherapist (Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Board Certified in Clinical Social Work), as well as a Certified Reciprocal Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor and a Certified Experiential Therapist III. She has a Bachelor of Science in Administration of Justice (Summa Cum Laude) from the University of Missouri-St. Louis where she was among the first group of women to compete for the prestigious Rhodes Scholar program, and a Master of Social Work from Washington University.

During her early career, she worked in the juvenile court system, in a federally-sponsored program for adolescents at risk, in a child welfare specialization training grant at Washington University supervising and teaching students, and was the director of Service Area G (Jefferson, Franklin, and St. Charles Counties) Missouri Council on Criminal Justice. She was the director of a women’s half-way house and worked at an addictions treatment facility before starting a private practice. In addition to her private practice, she continues to be a facilitator and trainer in the areas of domestic violence, addictions and recovery, experiential therapy, trauma and other mental health issues for professional organizations.

Volunteer and Community Service/Leadership

Kathy has served as a board member of a health center since 2011 and currently serves as the Vice-Chair of that center.  This experience has helped her see  the needs of an under-served population and how important it is to provide health care for all. She has been a strong advocate for providing services to women and children who are victimized by domestic violence and serves as the secretary of a foundation board that assists in providing these services.  She also serves on a state advisory committee that addresses the needs of providing healthcare to our communities.  Kathy was invited to participate in Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter’s symposium on mental health issues at the Carter Center in Atlanta, and has been a professional advisory board member to an international service organization of a 12 Step group.  Kathy was recently asked to serve on the Cultural Diversity Committee in Festus/Crystal City, Missouri.  She has served on various other committees and boards throughout her adult life.

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